Open Wounds (Spoiler)

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Open Wounds

Last Free Dates: 5th Mar 15 to 9th Mar 15
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...This is not a book I would ever read again. On the other hand, it is a powerful, affecting, and very uncomfortable read. ...

After a divorce caused by her father’s alcoholism, a young teenager moves across country with her mother. Picking up the pieces of her life seem hard, but things quickly go from bad to worse, and she finds herself living a nightmare.

Spoilers Below

I will give this book a spoiler right up front, because it is a severe trigger warning: her mother’s new boyfriend severely sexually abuses her. This is not written in any way that could be considered entertainment: this is a hard hitting, pull no punches, and above all deeply unpleasant, read.

Be prepared to go through the wringer – by the time I reached the end I just felt hollow. For an adult reader it is painful to watch her make all the wrong decisions, but she is so well-written that her mistakes are believable and heart-breaking. This is a detailed and appalling portrait of the breakdown of a human being subject to prolonged abuse, and it doesn’t spare the reader.

While the other characters are less well drawn, the book is told in first person from the point of view of a young teenager, and at that age some people do tend to label people – the mother, the boyfriend etc. – and not always see depths of character.

My gut instinct was to give this a low rating, but viewed objectively it evoked strong emotion, is well-written and formatted, and handles distasteful mature themes in an adult manner while utterly condemning the boyfriend’s actions. Objectively, I must give this a four.

It’s not a book I would ever read again, and not one I personally would ever recommend to another reader. On the other hand, it is a powerful, affecting, and very uncomfortable read.

Rating: 4
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